Ace Hardware Corp. has launched a new financing program for Ace Hardware store owners in an effort to help fuel new store growth efforts.
The financing program gives qualified Ace store owners access to up to $200,000 in a dollar-for-dollar equity match loan for opening a new ground-up store or to acquire a competitor’s store, according to Ace.
Retailers who borrow money through the program do not need to repay in cash but can repay the loans immediately using Ace Hardware Corp. stock or over time using future noncash patronage distributions, the cooperative reports.
“With this exciting announcement, Ace Hardware store owners now have even more resources to help them achieve their goals of expanding their businesses,” says Dan Miller, vice president of retail operations and new business at Ace. “In the last three years, new ground-up stores at Ace have reported a nearly 99 percent success rate, and the average store is yielding sales per square foot of $138 per foot in their first year.”
Because Ace Hardware is a privately held, retailer-owned cooperative, the company’s shareholders are exclusively store owners.
A percentage of all wholesale goods purchased by an Ace store through the Ace Hardware supply chain is returned to the owner annually in the form of a patronage dividend, which is a combination of cash and Ace Hardware Corp. stock. Retailers who qualify for and choose to participate in the new financing program will be able to grow more aggressively because they can tap into the equity of their existing stock, according to Ace.
The new financing program is available to existing Ace owners with two or more stores, as well as to all of the highest-performing Ace retailers, regardless of the number of stores owned.